If you always wake up feeling congested after sleeping with the air conditioner on, you're not alone. Many people suffer from this problem. To prevent the yucky feelings, you might turn your air conditioning off at night, but then you're too hot to sleep comfortably. Thankfully, there's a better solution – one that allows you to stay cool and breathe more freely. More than likely it's not the cold air itself that's causing your congestion, but rather allergies.
How are air conditioning and allergies related?
Even if you've never known yourself to have allergies before, they're the most likely explanation for your stuffiness. Dust, pollen and pet dander can build up on your duct works, especially if there are a few months between winter and summer when you don't run the heater or air conditioner. You might not notice allergies to these substances when they're present in low concentrations, but when they're being blown all over your face all night by your air conditioning system, your body is likely to react, even if you're only the slightest bit sensitive.
How do you keep your air conditioner from causing this reaction?
The most important thing to do is call an HVAC company and have your ducts cleaned. You will also want to change the filter on your air conditioner. Either do this yourself (filters are sold at most hardware stores for just a few dollars apiece) or just ask the HVAC technician to do so when he or she comes to clean the ducts. If you have pets, buy a filter that specifically states it is ideal for capturing pet dander.
What else can you do to relieve symptoms?
While you're waiting to have your duct work cleaned, you can keep your allergy symptoms to a minimum by running a vaporizer in your room. This will help weigh down the allergens in the air with water vapor, so they don't bother you quite as much.
After you have your duct work cleaned, you can take a few steps to make sure the problem does not start again. Vacuum your home regularly to minimize the number of particles that end up in your ductwork. Change your air conditioner and furnace filters monthly, and have your ducts re-cleaned every year.
You don't have to choose between clear sinuses and a comfortable night's sleep. If you have your duct work cleaned and keep it that way, you'll be able to sleep in an air conditioned room and wake up feeling refreshed, not stuffy. For more information, contact Armstrong Services Inc. or a similar company.